Gold Dollar Coin
The tale of the American gold dollar coin prices starts with Gold-001.html">gold itself. Gold
was one of the primary elements discovered by Man, thanks to its distinctive, yellow color and metallic luster.
Gold is a relatively inert metal, meaning that natural deposits enjoy a high level of purity. Gold is most normally
found mixed with quartz as veins and crystals, although other types are known. Erosion of the our planet creates
what are known as placer deposits, where Gold-001.html">gold is exposed and gathered in the form or dust, flakes, and nuggets.
Placer deposits usually occur along the bed of a river, where the bright, yellow glint of Gold-001.html">gold caught the eye of
Gold Dollar Coin
Man soon discovered the interesting and useful qualities of Gold-001.html">gold. Genuine Gold-001.html">gold is soft, malleable (easily
hammered into any shape), and ductile (easily pulled into wires or hammered thin). Genuine Gold-001.html">gold does not rust or
tarnish, thus it retains its natural beauty, luster, and color throughout the ages. And, Gold-001.html">gold is rare, making it
perfect as a store of value and a medium of exchange. Gold is employed as money, in jewelry, as an electrical
conductor, as a coating, and in innumerable other ways and fashions.
The valuation of the gold dollar coin derives from its desirability, its utility, and
the amount of effort required in obtaining and processing the natural ore. Despite the fact that more and more gold
is being mined every day, demand for the metal has kept pace. As of this writing, concern about the U.S. dollar and
the American economic system has driven the price of gold coin values to highs not seen since the early 1980s.
Nonetheless, it is important to understand that the volatility of the price of gold is not due to the supply but
to the strength or weak spot of the currency to which it is tied. The genuine purchasing power of the gold dollar
coin has remained almost identical throughout history (to illustrate, one can guesstimate that an ounce of gold
purchased the same number of loaves of bread a thousand years ago as it does today). The same cannot be said of
paper money, because paper cash has no intrinsic value and can be produced with ease.
Because a pure gold dollar coin is so soft, it is impractical for use as everyday money. Therefore, certain
other metals are alloyed with it to give it strength. The earliest American gold dollar coin contained 91.6% gold
and a mixture of copper and silver to make up the balance. If the silver content exceeded that of copper, the coin
took on a greenish hue. If the copper content exceeded that of silver, the coin took on a more yellow appearance
and, over time, would take on a reddish hue because of the oxidation of the copper. In 1834, the content of all
American gold coins was changed to 90% gold, with copper as well as silver making up the additional 10%.
Gold coin values have served as cash or established in the monetary value of currencies longer than any other
material. The use of gold coins was widespread in Europe by the fourth century B.C.
The earliest coins circulated in the United States were foreign coins, typically silver and gold, brought from
Europe. The Coinage Act in 1792 established an independent monetary system with the dollar as the fundamental
United States monetary unit containing 24-3/4 grains of fine gold, based on the world price of $19.39 a troy ounce
(480 grains). Congress altered the gold specification in 1834 and also again in 1837, when it set the dollar price
of gold at $20.67 an ounce.
In 1934, U.S. Citizens were being prohibited from holding the monetary gold dollar
coin in the United States; this was fully extended in 1961 to gold held abroad as well. The dollar
price was set at $35 per ounce in 1934. Use of gold dollar coin in international trade was further restricted as
the gold coin prices rose. The government revalued it at $38 per ounce in 1972, then $42.22 in 1973. It has
fluctuated widely over the past few years. All restrictions on keeping gold dollar coins
were removed on December 31, 1974.
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